Heading west

Croagh Patrick

Our second League match of the year is on tomorrow and I’m hitting the sack shortly as I’m heading to Castlebar in the morning to catch the action at MacHale Park. It’d be far easier, I know, to stay put and watch it live on TV but I’ve yet to see the lads in action in the flesh this year – the last match I was at was the fateful one in Limerick last August – and so at this stage it’s an itch I feel the need to scratch.

We’re favourites to win tomorrow in what’s a top against bottom of the table clash (not that this means a whole load after one round of matches) and the poll on the site that I’ve just taken down would indicate that supporters are likely be travelling to Castlebar with a bit more than hope about how the contest will pan out. 86% of you in the poll reckon we’ll win, while 7% think it’ll be a draw and another 7% figure Tyrone will do it.

A win would be good alright, providing us with a nice cushion before the League action recommences at the end of the month. To have four points after two games would give Pat and Noel more breathing space to try out more players and different kinds of formations and tactics over the remaining five games, knowing that another win (or two, to be absolutely sure) would then guarantee our top tier survival for another year. But this is the League so we know that a win tomorrow isn’t the be-all-and-end-all and that the kind of performance we put in on the day is of importance too as the lads continue their steady prep towards another summer campaign.

So here’s to a positive performance at MacHale Park tomorrow afternoon and, hopefully, the right result thrown in for good measure. As I’ll be at the game, I’ll be doing my usual post-match audio rant shortly after the final whistle sounds and, if I’m able to do it on the iPhone, I’ll get the MOTM poll up on the site as soon as I can after the match as well.  With The Brother behind the wheel for the return journey to the capital, I’m hopeful that I’ll have a piece on proceedings done before too late tomorrow evening. ‘Till then.

21 thoughts on “Heading west

  1. Safe driving WJ. These are exciting times to be Mayo supporters. I have to admit to being a little unsure as to what was going to happen when Horan announced he was stepping down. What would happen the players, the progress made, the so-close yet so-far 3 years? It is very early days of course but I like what I’ve seen thus far. No retirements, a fresh tactical approach, renewed physicality – if that’s possible, fresh faces and a hungrier looking side – if that’s also possible!
    With players like Harrison, Coen, Hall, Durcan, the two O’Connors, Regan, Gallagher and Douglas the future of Mayo football is very bright indeed.
    Mayo by 4. Hon Mayo.

  2. Looking forward to the game as well WJ .Only 20 miles to travel today.Very foggy here though .I’m sure(hope) it will clear.I for one am very happy to see the interaction between the two lads and Donie. 3 will always see more than 1 person if they are spread out as the lads were last Sunday.This becomes even more important as the year goes on with all the fanfare in Croke Park.

  3. I have a funny feeling Tyrone will turn us over today, they are due to bounce back from last week and are playing more or less their first 15. I just dont see us winning eneough ball in the forwards to beat them, as they will be puke footbaling the shit out of it today. That said, im not not going to get in a twist if we lose, because n and p are trying things and thats what the league is for. All that said, if we do win today we could be entering play off terriority which in division one is no mean feat. Tyrone reluctantly by 2.

  4. I’ll echo Pebblesmellers sentiments, I was in favour of the new management from the start and I think the lads have a new edge to them. Some serious competition for places this year.

  5. I think it could be a draw Tyrone will be really hungry for this. And they have a tall man inside too. I hope they put up another big performance.

  6. Fog very bad here in East Mayo the last hour or so. Came down fast so hopefully will lift again just as quick! Safe travelling to everyone.

  7. Does anyone know if the game is live on tv or delayed highlights . best of luck to all traveling today.

  8. Important to keep things in context. A win over a Kerry team with less than half their AI winning team should be taken as nothing more than 2 pts.
    Another 2 today is easily achievable – Tyrone nothing near de team of a few yrs ago.
    Dubs started with maybe 2 or 3 of 1st team last nite and still won by 5 pts. And were down to 14 for most 2nd haf.
    C + H’s winning U21 AI in 06 was a great achievement and dey deserve this chance and our full support.
    But when (if) it comes to the crunch in de summer, we will need a panel which will have gamechangers to bring off bench.
    We seem always to have abundance in backs (esp half bks) but while it’s good to c new guys like Regan, Ronaldoson, O Conor etc given games, we will hope to c at least one of these able to do a serious job for us in de summer.
    Get 2 pts today and pretty soon we can start to give even more guys (I don’t know much about these guys like Loftus etc some of u mentioned) but if we can cement our status ASAP we can give valuable playing time to as many of these guys as possible.
    I am cautiously optimistic but I think Horans teams have set high standards and so we (fans and players) should continue to be very demanding in what performances are delivered.
    Don’t let up with de hard work and intensity til Sam becomes SAMAYO!

  9. Jaypers, that was as bad a shooting display as I’ve seen from a senior team. Bad day at the office it would seem.

  10. Bit of a reality check for everyone after last week. Watched the game on gaa go – will post in more detail on the match report but the most disappointing aspect today was that we persisted with the same gameplan for 70 mins against a blanket defence that plainly wasn’t working. Good teams adapt their style of play when things aren’t going their way – we didn’t do that today. Hope I’m not reading countless comments complaining about the ref tomorrow – it was a tough game to referee and he was certainly not the reason we lost.

  11. Absolutely awful.
    Aidan o Se did not look fit an Keegan petty and unfocused.
    Management offered nothing.Where was Cafferkey meant to play? Absolute shambles.
    Can only get better!

  12. kicked it away no plan b,cant blame the ref for the wides,some serious work to be done ,

  13. It was dreadful to watch..agree with comment about plan b for blanket defence..just kept the same tactics for the whole game when blatantly wasnt working..im always looking for positives but there were none to be had from today im afraid..

  14. It’s not so much the result today that concerns me but the realisation that there is a flaw in Mayo’s play that is difficult to rectify. Let me start by stating that in my opinion Cillian O’Connor is arguably Mayo’s top forward since the 70’s! Excellent! Not because of today’s display, but his ability since 2012 to kick points from out the field and his predatory instincts near goal! He wants the ball and has the confidence to have a go! Unfortunately opposition managers like Mickey Harte will pack the defence realising that we have n’t the forwards to kick points from 30 metres. On too many occasions Mayo were forced to ‘pass the ball’ in good scoring positions rather than have a go! Players from mid field – excellent in many aspects of the game – are getting into scoring positions but not hitting the target.
    Alan Dillon and Andy Moran are scoring forwards but how long can they keep going?
    Early days but …….

  15. No game plan,forwards pulling out of tackles,clueless sideline,zero composure on the ball,passing the buck constantly.It will be hard to blame the Ref for this one.

  16. Cillian should have started that match màyo best forward aidan was woeful harsh I know but he needs to up his game now

  17. Not a great days work. Tyrone made it very difficult for us. However Kevin Keane was great again today, backs played well as a unit. Freeman ronsldson and conroy struggled to get their hands on the ball. As did Sweeney when he came on. Aiden in the middle is not as dynamic as Seamus and he tends to carry the ball into contact, which is a bad idea when there are 15 Tyrone men inside their 45. Duncan and killian did well when introduced.

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